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Europe Through the Back Door 39th edition is out today

I bought a copy to gift to my husband who hasn't been to Europe before. Anyone else gift Rick's books? I have the new Rome and Florence books on my Xmas list since the new editions are out in October and I want to go back to Italy early next year.

Posted by
1308 posts

Does gifting them to myself count? 😉 I think I pretty much have all of his books. They went on sale early during the pandemic and I stocked up. Now I just need more time to travel to all these places.

Posted by
959 posts

Does gifting them to myself count?

Ha! I'm 'gifting' it to him, but I know full well he'll flip through it for a few minutes to placate me, then it'll sit on his nightstand collecting dust and I'll end up studying it from front to back endlessly until we go.

Posted by
72 posts

I just finished his son's book Andy Steves Europe "City Hopping on a Budget". Enjoyed the reading. He covers Venice, Florence and Rome well.

Posted by
5865 posts

I can't say that I ever gifted someone a copy, but after reading the book, and using it to plan my first trip some 22 years ago, I have probably recommended it to friends and people asking questions (on this forum, as well as others) as to how I manage to travel independently in Europe, over a hundred times.

It really is one of the few, and certainly the best resource for planning independent travel in Europe, hands down.

Posted by
959 posts

I just finished his son's book Andy Steves Europe "City Hopping on a Budget". Enjoyed the reading. He covers Venice, Florence and Rome well.

I didn't know he was following in his dad's footsteps. Thanks for the rec.

Posted by
959 posts

It really is one of the few, and certainly the best resource for planning independent travel in Europe, hands down.

I agree. I do read other guidebooks too (from the library) but I'm so used to RS that I end up feeling irritated by the layout of other books.

Posted by
5169 posts

I did want to mention that RS guidebooks (not necessarily the most recent editions) are easily found in libraries and Thrift shops. This makes reading/owning them less of a costly issue. I always double check key information such as cost and operating hours on the internet no matter what edition I am reading.

My local library has a "sale" rack of books donated to the library as a fundraiser. I often find guidebooks in good shape there for about $.50 each.

Posted by
1308 posts

I'm so used to RS that I end up feeling irritated by the layout of
other books.

I’m the same way. RS doesn’t cover all the places I plan to visit so I have numerous other guidebooks too. And I’m always disappointed when they don’t have the detail that RS provides. I want the “turn left out of the train station and walk to x.”

Posted by
5621 posts

Wow, Rick’s reached the Jack Benny milestone -39!

In the past year, we cleared out a lot of editions of his specific country books on our shelves. There were many copies of earlier editions we’d kept around for nostalgic reasons, even if some of the recommendations and details weren’t current. He used to say that his books were thinner than other guidebooks, and his readers liked them that way, but he’s added places and more information, and the books have slowly gotten a bit thicker over time. Some of his readers have, too - LOL.

Still have his Phrasebook & Dictionary I got as a gift more than 20 years ago!

Posted by
959 posts

I want the “turn left out of the train station and walk to x.”

Yes! Even though I like detouring/wandering, I love the walks in his books.